Tom Polo awarded 2015 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship - Art Collector

  Courtesy: the artist and AGNSW

By Emily Cones-Browne

The Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) has announced Sydney-based artist Tom Polo as the 2015 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship recipient.

The scholarship provides a young Australian painter the opportunity to spend a three-month residency at one of the AGNSW’s studios at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and up to three months travelling throughout Europe to further their art education, with a $30,000 stipend included.

Established by the late Beryl Whiteley in 1999, the scholarship commemorates the effect international travel and study had on her son (Australian artist Brett Whiteley).

“This scholarship will afford me dedicated time and space to focus on my practice and its development, while surrounded by the wealth of culture and influence Paris offers,” says Polo, who was a finalist for the award in both 2012 and 2013.

“I look forward to undertaking research at some of France’s most significant collections and galleries and it's exciting that I'll have the opportunity to extend this to the rest of Europe after my residency, too.”

This year’s judges were Australian artist and 2014 Archibald Prize winner Fiona Lowry and the AGNSW’s head of Australian art Wayne Tunnicliffe.

Lowry said she was compelled by the poetical nature of Polo’s paintings: “Tom’s work illuminates anxieties and failures in a most beautiful way. His practice is well developed and he has a deep knowledge of what he wants to talk about as an artist. This direction and understanding will only grow further through spending time in the cultural melting pot that is Paris.”

The painting All she needs from Polo’s winning body of work is currently on display at the Brett Whiteley Studio until 13 Sep 2015, alongside works by finalists Jordan Richardson (Highly Commended), Clara Adolphs, Sally Anderson, Natasha Bieniek (also winner of the 2015 Wynne Prize), Annalisa Ferraris and Matilda Julian.

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